The metaverse continues making strides after a year brimming with exciting technological developments and high-profile investments.
For 2023, the development of virtual worlds is expected to continue at high speed, with a focus on entertainment and gaming.
That is as we are seeing the consolidation of new technology such as blockchain, VR, AI and 5G.
With that in mind, here are the top metaverses you’ll want to keep an eye on this year.
1. Sensorium Galaxy
Sensorium Galaxy is a metaverse that’s been developed in collaboration with some of the world’s top artists, producers, and media companies.
Currently in beta, this metaverse is the first to be inhabited by AI-powered avatars and consists of several worlds, each acting as a hub dedicated to a specific set of experiences.
AI plays a central role in our metaverse. Based on cutting-edge conversational AI and other AI-based capabilities, these avatars are fully able to maintain organic, unscripted and context-based conversations about a vast array of topics. Our virtual beings are capable of retaining short-term memory, which allows them to identify previous conversations with a human user and refine interactions based on past conversations. This means that AI avatars can become your trusted companion in the metaverse, with whom you can share experiences and trust your thoughts and feelings with.
In addition, Sensorium has unveiled a pioneering range of AI DJs that can deliver performances in the metaverse, based on unique generative music capabilities enabled by the company’s long standing cooperation with Mubert.
In 2021, Sensorium made history as one of its AI DJs became the first ever to release a full album across major music streaming platforms. Currently, these virtual artists perform at a series of exclusive Sensorium parties as part of Sensorium’s metaverse streaming service.
This metaverse stretches across several spaces;
PRISM is the premier world of Sensorium Galaxy, being the entry point for music and entertainment. This is where metaverse users will be getting access to exclusive VR performances by chart-topping artists including David Guetta, Steve Aoki, Black Coffee, Armin van Buuren and many more.
By merging cutting hedge AI and VR technology with top-tier entertainment content in a virtual reality galaxy, Sensorium can offer an unmatched multisensory experience that extends to its other worlds, including MOTION that will be hosting mindfulness and self-exploration, encouraging the attainment of higher levels of knowledge.
A crucial feature of Sensorium Galaxy the platform's native currency currency - SENSO - which leveraged blockchain technology to power a fair, transparent and user-owned decentralized economy. This token can be carried through varied transactions, from creating new avatars to purchasing event tickets and developing original content.
As for boundary-pushing applications we’re developing, they include:
- AI-driven avatars
- Generative technology
- Advanced social and game mechanics
- Extensive entertainment, immersion and interactivity features
- Blockchain-based monetization streams
However, the Sensorium Galaxy isn’t limited to these just these experiences and the world’s we’ve detailed as our metaverse will soon expand to other locations that users will be able to explore and enjoy!
For now, you can interact with an intelligent virtual being and experiment with augmented reality through the Sensorium mobile app.
Decentraland is an established metaverse project that’s found great success through high-profile partnerships and multi-million dollar deals related to its coveted plots of virtual land.
This decentralized platform is built on the Ethereum blockchain and allows users to freely and easily create new digital experiences and, as importantly, to monetize them. By combining virtual reality, play-to-earn mechanics and creator rewards, Decentraland has plenty to offer:
Explore: Inside this metaverse, you’ll be able to travel through a multitude of environments, spaces and infrastructures created by other users, including night clubs, medieval towns or even a space station. There are really no creative limits in Decentraland so be ready to see your jaw drop to the floor quite a few times.
Create: Decentraland bills itself as a space for creativity and user-created 3D experiences - all hosted on an open platform. The good news is that you don’t have to be a tech whizz to get started with this metaverse. If you’re new to the scene, all you have to do is think of the scenarios, objects, places or games you want to create and use the Builder Tool to make it all come true. This requires no coding knowledge and allows you to create beautiful spaces and simple games.
Trade: Just like in the real world, your virtual possessions such as avatars, skins, virtual real estate, objects, can be bought, sold or traded with other users. Transactions are settled with the platform’s native tokens, MANA.
Decentraland is divided into 90,000 LAND units in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFT).
These have become hugely popular as the platform continues hosting brand experiences for the likes of Samsung, Coca-Cola, Domino’s and Adidas. Last year, Decentraland hosted the Metaverse Fashion Week, featuring renowned brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Forever 21 and Hugo Boss.
In case you’re interested in knowing more, feel free to check our Decentraland Metaverse Guide.
Originally launched in 2006 by Roblox Corporation, Roblox is a gaming hub based on user-generated content. This means that its community is responsible for developing and launching games, allowing everyone to participate in thousands of different titles while also enabling users to interact with each other.
According to the company, this virtual world is a space where people “can come together within millions of 3D experiences to learn, work, play, create, and socialize. Fostering a rich community built on shared experiences is central to this vision”.
With 58.8 million daily active users worldwide at the end of 2022, Roblox has become a go-to metaverse platform where you can find new friends, share your creative endeavors and have adventures together. More recently, the platform has been pushing for a faster expansion from gaming into other entertainment options, including music.
After hosting mega concerts by Twenty One Pilots, David Guetta, Ava Max Heaven and Tai Verdes, last year this metaverse decided to launch the Roblox Listening Party, a new feature that allows artists to release new albums and let millions of fans to listen to their music while hanging out with their friends on the platform.
Roblox has also held the first electronic music festival in the metaverse, the "Virtual Electric Daisy Carnival, which saw live performances from over 50 artists, including Zedd, DJ Snake, Benny Benassi, Alison Wonderland, Loud Luxury and more. The event also featured several mini-games, allowing fans to enter dance battles with friends and build their home at the festival’s site.
Roblox also offers its own virtual currency, Robux, that allows users to buy, sell or trade in-game items as well as other digital goods.
For all these reasons, Roblox remains as one of the top metaverse platforms to know in 2023.
While we are yet to see a full-fledged metaverse emerge, it’s becoming clear that gaming is a significant way of attracting users to digital worlds.
Case in point - Fortnite.
Released in 2017 by Epic Games, Fortnite is a massively popular online video game that is currently available in three modes:
Fortnite: Save the World: a layer-versus-environment cooperative game, with four players forming a team with the aim of fulfilling several missions. From missions, players are awarded a number of in-game items, which include hero characters, weapon and trap schematics, and survivors, all of which can be leveled up.
Fortnite Battle Royale: a player-versus-player game for up to 100 players, allowing one to play alone, in a duo, or in a squad (usually consisting of three or four players).
Fortnite Creative: a sandbox game mode, in which players are given complete freedom to spawn any item from the Battle Royale game mode on a personal island, and can create games such as battle arenas, race courses, platforming challenges, and more.
Recently, Epic Games raised $1 billion to fund "its long-term vision for the metaverse" and advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially connected online services.
Apart from being a top gaming platform, Fornite has also built a reputation as an entertainment stage after hosting concerts by Ariana Grande, Travis Scott and Marshmello, each drawing in millions of fans.
This gaming metaverse platform is free to play and available across a wide range of devices.
Facebook became the major tech company to announce wide ranging plans for the metaverse, even renaming itself as Meta back in 2021.
Since then, Meta has unveiled Horizon Worlds, describing the platform as a “VR social experience” and where users can meet other people, socialize with friends and even work.
This metaverse currently works on Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest 2 headsets, but Meta has announced plans to release a mobile app as well.
Horizon Workrooms, one of the products inside Horizon Worlds, allows co-workers to come together in virtual reality rooms, while also offering tools aimed at improving teams' ability to collaborate, communicate and connect remotely through the power of VR.
Users are represented through avatars which, according to Mark Zucherberg, can bring a proximity and realistic forms of “contact” to virtual corporate environments.
Furthermore, Meta has said that "these kinds of experiences, where you can actually feel present with other people, are I think a much richer way to interact than the types of social apps we’ve been able to build on phones or computers”. Workrooms is then a solution that allows teams to improve their remote work interactions, including writing ideas on a whiteboard, collaborating in real time on a document and brainstorming.
Meanwhile, Horizon Home offers a more family-oriented environment as a space for more casual activities with friends and relatives. Among the possibilities is to hold parties with friends.
6. Viverse (HTC)
Taiwanese tech firm HTC has released one of the most ambitious and comprehensive metaverse platforms with Viverse, an interoperable ecosystem where different content platforms interconnect to offer users a seamless, decentralized and secure way of experiencing VR experiences.
There are several activities that you can engage in:
Me Time: You can have your very own space in the metaverse through a collection of private VR spaces for you to choose from based on your needs.
Arts and Exhibitions: The Louvre and other notable exhibits are only a moment away in this metaverse. You’ll be able to attend your favorite events and appreciate them with your friends and loved ones, while experiencing art in a new and immersive way.
Virtual Concerts: Attend concerts by your favorite artists with a premium view. Viverse offers holographic imaging and 360 degree viewing angle while ensuring a highly interactive experience.
Social Gatherings: You can take getting together with your friends to the next level with VR.
Meetings: Meet and collaborate with your team regardless of where you are in the world. Virtual reality enables remote work to be more immersive and empathetic with your team.
Expos and Conferences: Orchestrate or participate in trade shows and expos all from the comfort of your device. With the help of VR, you can present your product in a more nuanced way or immerse your clients in your service. VIVERSE helps you showcase your product or service inside a virtual world in the most interesting way possible.
In order to create one of the best metaverses that can seamlessly integrate digital and physical worlds, HTC is collaborating with layer-1 blockchain Lamina1, founded by "Snow Crash" author Neal Stephenson and Bitcoin Foundation co-founder Peter Vessenes. This enables the company to add more efficiency to its virtual worlds and, as importantly, it will allow users to digital assets such as avatars, clothes and artwork between metaverse platforms.